One Tournament, Three Competitors, Seven Medals

Team Tri-Force MMA Takes to NAGA East Coast Championship

By: Jackie Campbell

Team Tri-Force returned to the podium during the North American Grappling Association’s (NAGA) East Coast Grappling Championship in Providence, RI.  On May 6, 2017, three team members came to represent Tri-Force MMA and in doing so earned a total of seven medals within seven divisions.

Dan Cormier put on an impressive performance earning the 1st place finish for the Championship Belt within the Men’s Purple Belt No Gi Flyweight Expert Division. Dan also placed 3rd within the Men’s Purple Belt Gi 150lb Division. That’s right, a Flyweight placed within a division outweighing him by at least 25lbs. Once again; impressive.

Competing is important because it’s the only way to see how much you’ve improved. You can have good days and bad days in the gym but you never know how good you are until you compete.
— John Douma

Representing Tri-Force within two Welterweight Divisions was competitor John Douma. Earning a 1st place finish in the Men’s Blue Belt Gi Welterweight Division and 2nd place in the Men’s Blue Belt No Gi Welterweight Expert Division, John continues to prove his ground game is amongst the best in the region. John is also currently holding two amateur MMA Featherweight Titles with the local promotions Combat Zone and Cage Titans. And at just 20 years old, we think it’s safe to say what you’re already thinking: This kid is a beast.

Andrew Cormier dominated the men’s beginner divisions, earning three medals within his very first tournament. Andrew placed 1st within the Men’s White Belt No Gi Beginner Division, took home 2nd place in the Men’s White Belt Gi Division, and placed 2nd in the Men’s Masters White Belt Gi Division. Did we mention that this was his first tournament?

While recapping on the event, each competitor highlighted their individual strengths and weaknesses on the mats. Staying active in the realm of competitive grappling is key for Dan as he is always working to improve both his skills and mindset.

“The importance is in staying active and busy. Getting used to the large crowds and different styles of grapplers” will offer continued improvement to both strategy and proficiency, according to Dan.

“Wrestling and top position proved to be my strengths on the mats,” says Dan. “I am always looking to improve, to make certain passes quicker and to put myself in better position to execute a submission.”

John credited his consistent pressure and ability to set the pace of each match for his success within the tournament. Looking forward, John intends to continue to work on his approach to grappling against opponents who are unwilling to attack.

“Competing is important because it’s the only way to see how much you’ve improved,” says John. “You can have good days and bad days in the gym but you never know how good you are until you compete.”

Andrew came into his first Jiujitsu tournament with goals set to not only medal but to compete in as many matches as possible. Having proved successful in both feats, Andrew walked away with a wealth of knowledge regarding his own strengths and weaknesses.

I view competing as one element of getting better. In order to improve, I feel that you have to put yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable
— Andrew Cormier

“I felt as if I had an advantage on my feet. I did not have much of an issue taking opponents down,” says Andrew. “I wrestled in high school but that is also something that we seem to work on a lot in practice. I also thought that I was strong in top position once I managed to pass guard.”

Through the experience of the tournament, Andrew now has new focus for training going forward. While he was up 7-0 in the Adult Gi White Belt Finals, he was submitted by armbar with just thirty seconds remaining on the clock. “As far as improving, that’s an easy one: armbar defense,” Andrew explains. “It is going to take me a while to get over that one.”

“I could also use some improvement with passing full guard and making sure that I’m keeping myself in a good position while I’m in my opponent’s guard,” says Andrew.

Andrew agrees that the true key to improvement is in competing. “For me, I view competing as one element of getting better. In order to improve, I feel that you have to put yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable,” explains Andrew. “If you’re rolling with the same people you are not getting exposed to new styles and strategies. By competing , you get to roll with new people and styles.”

Team Tri-Force MMA was proudly represented as its competitors continue to keep their school on the map. NAGA New England is scheduled to return to Providence, RI on October 14, 2017. As always, stay tuned to Tri-Force MMA News for upcoming events and registration information to compete with Team Tri-Force.